Seeking suggestions for extending life of Mac Pro 3,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rkv, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. rkv macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #1
    I have a MacPro3,1 from which I am hoping to eke out another year or so of life. There are two things I am in need of, improved performance and a storage strategy for migrating from eSata to Thunderbolt. I don't know if it is the existence of the nMacPro but it really seems that since upgrading to Yosemite that I've become disatisfied with performance. In particular I really like sub second response time, and I am finding more and more occassions where my MacPro is seeming sluggish. This is with the same usage pattern.

    One suspicion is that my use of Spaces and web browsers is bogging down my machine. My normal work flow is to have six spaces one with Mail, Calendar, Address book, others for each of safari, chrome and firefox. I tend to use all three for different purposes. Pages, Word, Excel and Numbers in other spaces. I do sometimes have to use Word and Excel. Although, I try to quit those whenever I'm not actively using them. I'm convinced they don't play well when simply idle. In terms of resources Handbrake is the only thing which will really load a lot of cores.

    The sluggish behaviour which I am finding trouble some is both context switches that is changing spaces or applications and most troublesome being the slow echoing of characters when typing. Note these are at times when CPU load is low, that is I'm not running Handbrake. I don't run torrents or anything that has a lot of network traffic. I'm most suspicious that after the Yosemite upgrade that memory is my big issue. Although, Activity Monitors memory usage doesn't provide me with any glaring evidence of that being an issue.


    Here's my configuration:

    MacPro3,1 - 2.8Ghz 2-CPU 8-Cores
    16GB memory (8GB Apple 4x2gb modules) (8GB OWC 2x4GB)
    CalDigit FASTA 6GU3 2port USB3 2port eSata - used for external eSata and USB 3 drives
    Boot SSD - 240GB OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 3G SSD 2.5" Serial-ATA 9.5mm Solid State Drive
    Internal Drives - 4 Seagate 3TB Barracuda 7200rpm configured a 2 mirrored volumes
    Displays: Apple 30" and 27" Cinema HD

    System and applications are on SSD
    User files are on Mirrored Volume, second Mirrored Volume Time Machine & Temp.

    Considering more memory and moving User files to mirrored SSD. Using OWC moving to 32GB seems affordable. While 64GB seems to expensive.

    I had been thinking of a OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2. However, I've been told by them that you can not mirror the two SSD blades, that is they only support Raid 0 not Raid 1. An active user partition of 500GB would capture all of my active non archival files. So Mirrored SSD might be a solution. The archival files I could push to external Raid 0+1.

    For performance, I've thought of more memory, and more SSD. Also newer USB 3 card. I also would consider CPU and Graphics but not sure they would get me appreciable improvement. I very rarely do video editing and the like. Only several times a year for family use.

    On the storage front I have a lot of loose bare drives. In excess of 100gb. I typically am using external housings with primarily eSata but some USB3 via the CalDigit card to access those.

    I also have iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs all of which have Thunderbolt ports. I would like to start migrating from eSata to Thunderbolt housings. It appears that the best I can do there is Thunderbolt 1 with USB 3 housings. I could then use them as USB on my MacPro and as Thunderbolt with all others. Ideally I would like to go to RAID 6 but suspect that will need to wait until I upgrade to new MacPro.

    On the storage front, I'm curious as to whether there is a technical reason that no one is offering eSata and Thunderbolt? That would be my preferred solution.

    Major reason for not upgrading to new MacPro is both price tag and performance not a significant enough jump. The last time I upgraded I went from 2005 Dual PPC MacPro to this 2008 8 Core MacPro. That seems like it was a much bigger jump in performance than what the new MacPro would provide over my current system. I guess I'm hoping the nMP will see a significant CPU bump in the next year or so. Eight 3.6ghz cores would be nice.

    In any event, I would appreciate any suggestions you might have to which enhancements would provide the most performance gain to my current setup as well as strategies people are using for evolving their storage toward Thunderbolt while maintaining compatibility with older MacPro.
     
  2. sigmadog macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    near Spokane, WA
    #2
    I have my 3,1 boot disk on a Sonnet Tempo Pro PCIe with 2 480GB SSD's in RAID0. My working files are on internal spinning HD's so I still have some wait times as they spin up, but the system itself responds quite snappily. I have a lot of applications open at once as well (Photoshop, Illustrator, browser, Painter, Acrobat, Postbox, iTunes, etc.) though I don't use Spaces. My System and applications fill about half my boot RAID0 SSDs and I've never had a problem since adding the Sonnet.

    I have heard that SSD performance drops as it fills closer to capacity. I'm not sure that explains the lag when you are typing (then again, I'm no expert on this). I just wonder if you might experience a boost in performance by incorporating a larger SSD and/or combining it into a dual SSD RAID0.

    Not sure extra RAM would help that much unless you're doing a lot of image manipulation (Photoshop with multiple layers and filters, etc.).

    As for Yosemite, I'm always suspicious of Apple's OS upgrades. I think they tend to take more resources to do all the fancy new stuff and in a sneaky way keep their users on a constant hardware upgrade path. It makes sense: Apple gives away their OS in order to drive hardware sales. I run Mavericks at the moment, and have no plans to upgrade until I get a new system myself.
     
  3. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #3
    How is your memory pressure in Activity Monitor when performing normal tasks. That will tell you if more memory will help. It can also tell you if CPU load is high - generally not an issue for most people.
     
  4. rkv thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #4
    I've looked at the Memory tab under Activity Monitor. The pressure graphic is always green and the horizontal line is at the same height as the line dividing "Swap Used" and "Virtual Memory" about 1/3 the way up.

    Here are some statistics:
    Physical Memory: 16GB
    Memory Used: 15.19GB
    Virtual Memory: 26:30GB
    Swap Used: 603.8MB
    App Memory: 8.18GB
    File Cache: 1.04GB
    Wired Memory: 2.01GB
    Compressed Memory: 3.97GB

    CPU Load is very low:
    System: 5.73%
    User: 4.09%
    Idle: 90+

    Window Server and Finder alternate as most CPU intensive. With Window server hitting 80-90% when initiating a chance from one space to another space.

    Currently changing from one space to another is taking at least 5 seconds of wait time before the screen redraws to the new space.

    Any insights as to how to interpret the foregoing would be appreciated.
     
  5. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #5
    Software RAID 1 on OS X is very slow. The IO doesn't complete until it's been written to both drives so effectively your IO rate is 50% that of a single drive.
     
  6. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #6
    Your memory pressure seems very, very low.
     
  7. SpecFoto, Jan 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015

    SpecFoto macrumors member

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    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    So Cal
    #7
    This.

    Having 3 browers, 2 writing programs and 2 spreadsheet programs all open is tying up your 16GB of memory. This is why your memory usage is 99% used. Remember that not only do some of the apps grab a chunk of memory, but they all have cache files (using more memory) to speed up their usage.

    Suggestions:
    Buy 48GB of memory. Or Dump using Spaces and Mission control. Why do you need another app, using more memory, to tell you what apps are open? Put icons of the programs you use on the Dock and launch a program from there only when needed. Apps are on the SSD and should open immediately, given they have sufficient memory allocation. As you have 2 screens, this method becomes easy to use and you can set certain apps to open full screen on each monitor.

    Try to use only 1 browser, that is what tabs are for. The MS programs will hog memory, keep them closed whenever possible. Same for PS.

    Actually your Mac is set up beautifully hardware-wise. The only thing I would change is to use HDD 1 & 2 as a 5.5TB RAID 0 setup. Same for HDD 3 & 4, use this RAID0 #2 5.5TB as a internal backup to RAID0 #1. When setting up the 4 HDD, partition a 250GB section on each drive in addition to the 2.75 TB. Use these as a 2 additional RAID 0 setup of 500GB each on HDD 1/2 & 3/4. Use RAID0 #3 as a scratch disk and RAID0 #4 as a back up system to the SSD. You will see big improvements in transfer speeds and having the scratch disk will mean your SSD does not get bogged down. My 4 HDD are set up this way and my R/W speeds are all in the 280 to 325 MB/s range.
     
  8. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    #8
    I didn't see much in your post that indicates what you do use your Mac for?

    Budget aside, the nMP would actually offer a very significant jump in overall system performance. The CPU performance is what is holding you back... it's the primary cause of the "sluggishness" you're perceiving. The CPUs in your MP 3,1 are literally over 7 years old technology-wise, so it's not just the GHz.

    You could upgrade the CPUs to whatever is the fastest available for the MP 3,1 platform, but I would strongly suggest not dumping any more money into such an old system and save the money for a new Mac. Even the fastest of those old CPUs aren't going to help that much.

    If you do a lot of GPU-based apps (games, some 3D CAD/modeling apps, FCPX), then a newer video card might help a little bit, but not much for typical office productivity apps.

    You already have an SSD, which was the best upgrade you could do for general system performance... PCIe SSD, RAID 0, etc., isn't going to help with that (aside from some extremely niche applications, pretty much the only thing SSD RAID 0 is good for is heavy-duty video editing and bragging rights).

    16GB is plenty of RAM for general use - again, unless your regularly using apps like FCPX, CAD/modeling, etc., more RAM isn't going to perceivably help with general system performance.

    As you've already suggested, you can try to simplify your OS X workflow and turn off non-critical workspaces and features that may be eating up CPU cycles.

    But the simple truth is you need a new Mac if you want to improve system performance while keeping your current workflow. I know that's not what you want to hear, but there's only so much you can do with a 6 year old computer, even the fabled cMP.
     
  9. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #9
    Since your memory pressure is ok, more memory will do little to improve performance. Ignore the comment about 99% memory usage as OS X will always use all the memory available. You can upgrade to 32gb and you will still show high memory usage.

    I'm thinking that your sata 2 interface for the SSD is the current bottleneck. The solution to that is to get a SATA 3 card like the Apricorn Velocity and a faster SSD and use that. Get a decent size SSD so that you can run everything you can from the SSD.
     
  10. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #10
    I thought the same thing. Buying 32gb more ram when the memory pressure is green is complete nonesense.
     
  11. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    #11
    No, it's not. SATA3/PCIe will improve sustained transfer speeds with a SSD, but it's not going to make the system feel any faster other than working with multi-gigabyte files (e.g. video editing).
     
  12. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #12
    Your CPU is holding you down. Most of thing things you're doing are going to be single core performance, not I/O or multithread, and the single core performance on a 2008 is pretty low these days.

    A PCIe SSD might buy you some time, but you have to ask yourself if that's worth the money when the root cause will be fixed by a new machine.

    Also keep in mind I don't know if having that many spinning platters for a RAID that's going to get hit often is a great idea. The spin up/spin down downs on 4 drives can really cause issues. Is it capacity or speed you're after? If it's speed, dump those drives in favor of a single SSD. If it's capacity see if you can't replace them with a single larger drive. Another option is turning off drive sleep.
     
  13. SpecFoto, Jan 2, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015

    SpecFoto macrumors member

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    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    So Cal
    #13
    The only thing "complete nonsense" is your statement. Memory usage can and will change depending upon the applications and how they are taxed. Just because the memory pressure is green when he looked at it, does not mean it will stay that way. It really depends upon how much headroom he has available in total memory.

    For giggles, I opened the same 11 programs the OP listed, minus chrome, on my 32GB 5,1 MP and total memory usage was 9.85 GB (almost 60% of his 16GB) with all programs at idle. Yes the Activity graph bar was at green. (This also shows the statement before yours that the Mac will use up ALL available memory is incorrect. VM yes, but actual memory, no). The OP total memory usage was at 15.19GB of the 16GB memory; he either had some apps working and not just setting at idle, or configured his apps differently. We don't know how the OP taxes his programs, but having less than 1GB of available memory for 1 or 2 applications operations, let alone all 11 applications, is in my experience, not enough. Green bars or not! My usage is mostly with large PS files and video transcoding, and these files can get very large and soak up all available memory very quickly. YMMV. My feeling is that if the OP was to watch his Activity monitor when the Mac is slowing down, the Activity graph would show lots of yellow and red. OK, maybe the OP doesn't need 48GB of memory, but if he had the extra 16GB of headroom I have, I know this would help his situation.

    One other item to check is the video card. The OP did not mention what he is using in driving 2 large monitors. If he upgraded to at least the 1 GB 5770, and doesn't play video games, it should be sufficient.
     
  14. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #14
    You are seriously suggesting 48gb!!! of RAM for webbrowsing and office apps.
    That is beyond nonsense.

    He can multitask these apps without many hickups on any old macbook air with 2gb.

    You are correct however, that the activity monitor needs to be always monitored during main workloads.

    ----------

    I also suspect the CPU.
     
  15. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #15
    16 gigs of RAM should be enough. OS X is increasingly designed to be greedy with RAM, so unless you have tons and tons of RAM, your RAM is pretty much always going to be constantly used. The free memory indicator has been more an more unreliable. OS X has started keeping caches in RAM which aren't necessary and will be cycled out once important things come in, but as a result it usually looks like there is no RAM free.

    CPU still would seem like the primary culprit. OS X is also starting to be designed to rely on fast swapping, but disk throughput could also be a concern. But like I mentioned, it's a question of how much OP wants to invest in a machine that will never take a more modern CPU.
     
  16. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #16
    I assume that the OP issuing RAID 1 to safeguard against drive failure but as I already pointed out Software RAID 1 on OS X is very slow. The IO doesn't complete until it's been written to both drives so effectively your IO rate is 50% that of a single drive. Those 3GB RAID 1 volumes are only capable of half the IO rate of a single 3GB drive.

    ----------

    I agree that the OP doesn't need 48GB of RAM but if he actually needs 17GB his system is going to be much slower than if he only needs 15GB. I would suggest an experiment to assess whether memory is a limitation by closing down all those Spaces & then testing performance. I recently upgraded from 16gGB to 32GB & my system is much snappier but I am using Premier Pro & VMWare Fusion VMs & clearly 16GB was not optimal for me. A good tip is to upgrade with the much more widely available & cheaper 667MHz FB-DIMMs rather than the original 800MHz parts. There is no perceptible difference in performance.
     
  17. G4DP macrumors 65816

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    Mar 28, 2007
    #17
    For all of what the OP uses 10GB's is more than ample. I can have multiple versions of Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc open as well as Mail, FireFox ( 6 or 7 profiles) and iTunes running. The only time i've ever found the system drag is if Safari is left running.

    It always has been a drag on the system.

    Apart from an upgrade to the RAM my 3,1 is a stock 8 x 2.8 machine.
     
  18. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #18
    The OP is using office apps, web browsers and some other stuff not even worth mentioning.
    Even 10gb is utter overkill.
    :apple: sells macbook airs that run these apps and then some with 4gb and no issues whatsoever.

    What propels people to suggest an upgrade beyond 16 ****ing gigabytes for these tasks?
    It always makes me wonder what folks on this forum are smoking, when it comes to RAM.
     
  19. rkv, Jan 3, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015

    rkv thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #19
    Thank you for the helpful responses. Here are some answers to the questions which you raise. And my apologies for what will be another long post. I've numbered the questions I have as follow-up so those are easily identified.

    First, as to my usage pattern, for work I am principally using my Mac for email, researching (web browsing) and office automation tasks (spreadsheets and documents). However, these tasks tend to be multiple projects lasting anywhere from several days or even months.

    I use my 27" display for email, calendar, contacts, evernote, omnifocus2, and activity monitor. These comprise the first of my Spaces. My 30" display is used for my project focused tasks. A spreadsheet project space, might have a couple of spreadsheet windows, some preview windows, one pathfinder window and one finder window. All of these will be configured to specific directories and files for that specific project. Similarly a document project will have Word or Pages, a pathfinder window and a finder window. I typically use Pages and Numbers but when sharing work with others invariably need to use Word and Excel. Although in a given Space it tends to be one or the other. Even for Pages I use both the new downsized Pages as well as the more feature rich earlier version of Pages. I always have at least two active project spaces and frequently three. There will also be a space for my reading for that day. Typically, I troll through news and the like in the early morning and queue things up for reading during breaks and the like. Here I'm principally using Instapaper. I also have one Space for impromptu tasks.

    I might spend an hour or more in a single project before switching. Since, configuring the various windows can take a few minutes, I typically like to leave my spaces as they were so I can jump back in without spending the setup time. Also, I do receive calls which require me to quickly jump into a project. Where I don't want to be bringing everything up at the time of the call. It's to save time on configuring windows and to have all the files readily at hand at the time of a context switch that I rely on Spaces. I don't use mission control. My primary way of navigating between applications is: Spaces(Ctrl number), Cmd-Tab, and the Dock. The applications folder and utilities folder are in the Dock.

    My machine is left up 24/7, in part because I use SpamSieve and have it configured as a server for when I'm picking up email from other devices. I probably only average restarting it two or three times a month. That is when I'm not experiencing difficulties. When the system gets bogged down it invariably leads to quitting offending applications. Most frequently Safari, Word or Excel. All three of which seem to be the greatest offenders when left idle.

    I do encode a fair number of DVD/BluRays. I also have integrated with home theatre including Tivo with a fairly sizable archive in excess of 6TB. Although, that storage is networked to the MacPro and not served by it. Encodes tend to be my only core intensive activity. Although, this isn't for work and invariably I run those overnight so they are not part of the performance problems I have mentioned. I also limit Handbrake's threads so that my machine is still responsive when encoding.

    Since the first round of responses to this thread, as nigelbb suggested, I have stopped using Spaces and basically have collapsed all of my project windows into the single display space of my 30" display. Note, this certainly solves my context switch issue. A Cmd-Tab context switch is less than a second. Unfortunately my screen is a complete mess of windows. Even thought I don't use my desktop, I would like to have a peek of it. I generally like to have things laid out so that by clicking in a region of the screen I know what I am bringing forward. With everything in one space this pretty much becomes impossible. It's visually a real mess.

    Here's what appears to be my typical memory usage with Spaces turned off. For ease of comparison I've put in tabular form with earlier values. (Sorry for the underscores, I couldn't figure out how to stop the formatting from compressing white space):
    Spaces:_____________ Off _______ Active
    Physical Memory:_____16GB ______ 16GB
    Memory Used:_____12.92GB ______ 15.19GB
    Virtual Memory:____16.00GB ______ 26.30GB
    Swap Used:_______ 0 bytes ______ 603.8MB
    App Memory:______ 9.33GB________ 8.18GB
    File Cache:________1.94GB________ 1.04GB
    Wired Memory:_____1.56GB_________2.01GB
    Compressed Memory:__2MB_________3.97GB

    This is the first time in a long time that my Swap has been zero. Also Virtual memory is much lower that I have seen. In terms of the memory pressure graphic, it is about 1/3 of the level it is when Spaces is being used. And again something which I have never seen that low.

    1) Given this test, do nay sayers on memory now think I should go for more memory?

    Also, I hadn't realized one could put slower memory in the slots. In looking at OWC's prices, I had previously rejected going higher than 32GB. With nigelbb's suggestion that becomes more attractive particularly if I were to go higher. Also memory as opposed to SSDs is something which would be for this machine. A new SSD is something I could drop into an Thunderbolt enclosure and use with my other Mac's or the eventual nMP I hope to have.

    I'm also wondering whether part of my problem was swap space. I'm not sure if there are ways to configure or pre-allocate swap space. I'm assuming it is somewhere on the SSD which is my boot volume. Currently that volume had 30GB of free storage. However, it sometimes gets down to below 10GB and periodically I go in a clean things out of the SSD. Note, my SSD has a second 50GB partition which I used for Yosemite Beta, so I could reconfigure and add that space back to the Boot volume.

    2) Any advice on minimum amount of space to maintain on the boot SSD? Are there any mechanisms for pre-allocating swap space which I should consider? I do have that unused partition on the SSD?

    I find SpecFoto's storage configuration interesting. I had used SoftRaid for Raid 0 a few years back but moved away from it after having three or four drive failures in a period of six months. SoftRaid was exceptional in their support for recovery but the experience turned me off of Raid 0. I had recently been thinking of Raid 0+1 as a possible solution moving forward. That was my current thinking for my Thunderbolt migration strategy. Although, ultimately, I think I want something like a Pegasus with Raid 6.

    3) For SpecFoto, when you talk of using some of the Raid volumes as backups for a Raid 0 volume and SSD are you referring to mirroring or are you suggesting something like carbon copy cloner as a cron job?

    I'm okay with loosing some work with a disk failure. However, I would like for it to be a small amount such as a portion of a day. My current use of mirroring was effectively a means of solving that problem but I'm open to other approaches. I also always have a spare HDD on hand.

    I've been looking at my storage usage, and while I said my home directory was under 500GB. I realize that my project work is actually only around 50GB of that. It turns out that I have 150GB in iTunes, 200GB in Photos, 66GB in iMovie projects, and surprisingly 44GB in email. I could presumably relocate all of those to disk based volumes.

    4) The SSD upgrade I'm now thinking of is to buy a second SSD and configure as Raid 0 for both the system and my home directory tree including my work projects but excluding iTunes, Photo, and iMovies. I could get buy with a smaller and less costly SSD. Any thoughts on such a configuration?

    Lastly, I may be able to test out the benefits of a faster CPU speed. I probably can get access to a Hackintosh with a single i7-2700k 4 core 3.5ghz, 16GB memory, and HD6870 graphics card. It's primarily a gaming PC which also runs Mavericks. I might be able to get them to upgrade to Yosemite and lend it to me for a few days. Although, it doesn't have any SSD based storage. It might be interesting to see how Spaces behaves on that iron.

    That's about it for now. Using any single application, other than Handbrake encodes, my current machine is certainly responsive enough. It is really my Spaces centric workflow and to some extent I also suspect Yosemite which are causing my current dissatisfaction. I've tried turning off some of Yosemite's eye candy, but that doesn't seem to have an appreciable benefit to my usage pattern.

    I'm still hoping that I might be able to spend something less than $1,000 for more memory and added SSD, which would extend the life of my MP3,1. Every time I look at the nMP I wind up with a $10k configuration. I really would like a nMP but don't feel the performance gain for my needs will justify it. I'm also aware that I could get by with a lesser configuration. However, one of the reasons I have gotten so much life out of this and prior Mac's is I try to buy a configuration which I am not likely to outgrow.

    Again thanks to all for your suggestions and guidance.
     
  20. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #20
    Yeah, but OP also has Time Machine. RAID 1 might minimize downtime, but in this case, I'd just stick with Time Machine and call it a day.

    ----------

    No, your memory usage looks fine. A significant amount of memory is still just being used for system caches, not applications. Even if your app memory usage was higher, it should be ok because the ratio of swap to memory wouldn't be that high.
     
  21. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #21
    You do not need a memory upgrade.
    1000$ to buy useless upgrades is insanity.
    The usage you are describing can be done on any new mac mini.

    I honestly do not know why your 2008MP doesn't work.
    Specs wise it seems like a very capable machine for your purposes.
     
  22. Cancaro macrumors member

    Cancaro

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Location:
    italy
    #22


    :(

    I'm sorry but your mac-pro and now dead !!!!!
    obsolete, old and useless, a pc of pure crap, can not do anything for him, throw it away and get a new MacPro 2014 and you will see how life smiles.
    Good year boy.


    : Mela:
     
  23. rkv thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #23
    Ignoring the immediately prior response, I would like to thank all responders and closeout this thread.

    I now suspect Meister is correct and it is not a hardware or configuration issue. After trolling a bit more through other forums, I'm believing it is a software issue with Yosemite. In particular, there are numerous complaints by other users of iMac including new 5K, MBP, and even nMP where they are talking about slow animation when using mission control and switching spaces. Since my problems really began after using Yosemite I now believe this is Yosemite related.

    Since my last writing I noticed overnight that my Swap Used increased. After a reboot it was back at 0. I've gone back to using Spaces in a limited fashion, only 3 Spaces for the time being. I also found some setting changes on OSXDaily to reduce Mission Control/Spaces animation and have implemented those. I'm now experiencing Spaces workspace changes which are only slightly longer than 1 second. I'm going to continue to monitor my memory usage. I've started taking snapshots of that window so that I might determine if there is some pattern.

    Returning to my hardware configuration. As I previously mentioned, I liked SpecFoto's recommended Raid configuration for my storage and plan on implementing that configuration.

    As to hardware upgrade, I'm still thinking of spending a bit of money on my current machine. In particular, I think I'm going to repurpose my current SSD to another Mac or as a Bootcamp partition and switch to an OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 as my primary OS X and User partition. I suspect that will get my current MacPro to its performance limits. Additionally, since I have external eSata storage, when I eventually get a nMP I would move the Accelsior to an OWC Mercury Helios and use it as a fast external drive and interface to my eSata enclosures.

    Again thanks for the constructive suggestions and help.
     
  24. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #24
    I think you are wasting your time monitoring your memory usage.
    Swap in Mavericks and Yosemite is (according to :apple:) no indicator for lack of RAM.
    I always have between 1-2gb swap used and my system is lightning fast and memory pressur rock-bottom-green.
    16gb is plenty for what you are doing now and in the foreseeable future.

    From what you described your storage setup is well thought through and up to date.
    Maybe keep it simpler and just use Time Machine instead of a RAID system.
    For your usage I do not undertstand why you are working with RAiD at all.
    Time Machine is a reliable backup system and that is all there is needed.

    I am against buying upgrades, since I do not believe your system needs any.
    From what you described you should still get years of good use out of it.

    After everything you described it looks like a software issue.
    I might suggest a downgrade to Mavericks, since it really isn't always wise or necessary to run the newest OS.

    Good luck :)
     
  25. sigmadog macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

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    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    near Spokane, WA
    #25
    Not that I'm bitter, but who had the first comment about Yosemite as a potential problem in this thread? Huh? Huh? Little credit, please! ;)
     

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